Saturday, February 27, 2010

SO, WHICH LIE IS TRUE? ~ By Absolutely*Kate, all because of Laurita Miller, both proudly from Harbinger*33

SO, Which LIE
is TRUE?
~ By Absolutely*Kate,
all because of Laurita Miller 

Well, well, well . . . when The Brain Droppings of the lovely Laurita Miller (once the fiance and always the muse of Edgar Allen Poe), went splish-splash-squishin' all over tarnation, an award slid right across the WebTown scene that sure made me mighty proud, mighty pleased and OH, so sensationally serene!

"CREATIVE WRITER BLOGGER AWARD PRESENTED TO - Absolutely*Kate proprietor of AT THE BIJOU. There's no doubt her outrageousness will spill into new realms."  ~ Author, Laurita Miller

"WOWZERS! THANKS LAURITA!", says me, Absolutely*Kate, a humble promoter, believing in believers, writing and dancing with the best writers and wits I know . . . here AT THE BIJOU show, because, geeeeeez ~ what else are you gonna do with such a mighty vs motley crew? Well, other than showing their great writes up AT THE BIJOU's BigScreen, come every Double*Feature Tuesday & Thursday, and putting 33 of 'em into a manifesting of their authoring destiny in HARBINGER*33? (the book ~ Eric Beetner, Anthony Venutolo and Ian Rochford are still working on the screenplay, before the movie can come out, while Michael J. Solender and Madame Z keep amusing the costume seamstress with outlandish requests involving plumage). Laurita designed the seaworthy banner over there to herald the great things to come for Harbinger*33 ~

Now . . . It seems by the Articles of Contention attached to this here shimmery creative award, I'm supposed to spin you SIX LIES AND ONE TRUTH. You, dear reader and BIJOU afficiando, then get to figger out which ones shed doubt and which one rings true-blue. I get the pleasure as well of Thankin' my benefactress, the lovely Laurita who received this award and passed it my way . . . and then (drumroll please, adjust my spots, Eddie) . . . I get to award "The Creative Writer Blogger" award three other worthies' blog*ways. Hmmm, too difficult to narrow down ... but I'll give it some thought.

I most heartily *thank* author Laurita Miller, for this generous bestowment. She's one of my fave writers who gives fantasy a whole new shadowy shade of true-grue . . . My congrats to my comrade and fellow HARBINGER*33 ship'shape-mate on FOUR WHOLE YEARS of bloggin' her meandering mind fanciful free over at that afore'plugged way cool joint, Brain Droppings! Wow, Laurita just gets more intricate in how she webs her weave over imagination, subconscious finery, and a grace which makes shadows shimmer a new hue o'glisteny grey. You can certainly delve into her originals HERE AT THE BIJOU, another of her other homes to haunt around WebTown ~ "The Neighbours" and "The Fetch". (Not to be confused with "Fetch the Neighbours" ~ Read 'em both and you'll see what I mean! Don't try that at home, folks, I'm warnin' you.)

( But can you spot the truth? )

1. I was the understudy for Etta in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", learning much from Ms Katherine Ross.

2. My grandmother, Helen Kozel was a Ziegfeld Girl.

3. I was on the sailing crew of the Bermuda One-Two race with the president of the Newport Yacht Club and a cargo of rum.

4. I presented a thirsty John Newcombe his Gatorade at the World Team Tennis Tournament, and he winked at me.

5. I wrote an eye-witness account of the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970, from the edge of the crowd.

6. I was at Woodstock and my elbow can be seen in the back left hand corner of your album cover.

7. I had a filet mignon dinner with the president of Yale, following the Yale-Harvard football game. Boolah, Boolah!

* * * * * * *

To paraphrase lovely Laurita's acceptance speech ~ It's fitting, perhaps, that I have been gifted this Bald Faced Liar Creative Writer award. Being Outrageous is as good a way as any to celebrate life fully, with moxie. The world needs more moxie.

The rules attached to this award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award. ( DONE! )

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. ( YEP! )

3. Link to the person who nominated you.  ( SEVERAL SHAMEFUL PLUGS MADE! )

4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself and one outrageous truth.  ( EASY! )

5. Nominate 3 creative writers who most likely will have fun coming up with outrageous lies.  ( DIFFICULT! )

6. Post links to the 3 blogs you nominate. ( FOLLOWS ... BUT TOUGH CHOICES, MOST OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE OUTRAGEOUS! )

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them. ( GONNA DO THAT )

I Nominate The Outrageous
*Creative Writer Blog Award*
  To ~

Michael J, soul of Solender at ~ The Not
Because he invented Outrageous, right after the lightbulb
which he delights in holding over his noggin.

Irrepressible Zelda, Madame Z at ~ Get-Your-Z's
~ for what is more Outrageous than a Pirate Queen
with a loose cutlass?

Clever Carrie the Clevenger at ~ MindSpeak
~ Outrageously reported to be the mother of
the Phantom of THE BIJOU's spirited offspring!


~ Absolutely*Kate,
shy, introverted and learning what Life has to offer,
Outrageously so . . . more so because of all of You! 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

BARRYMORE AND GODOT? ONLY AT THE BIJOU ~ It's FAB-FEB FILM*FEST on Double*Feature Thursday & Tuesday





Where both BARRYMORE 
and GODOT are sighted!

Oh Yes! Mr Buttaci and Mr Crisman know how to tell a tale. Such suspense! Such drama! Such happy endings?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
But let's get on with our shows ~

BARRYMORE ~ By Salvatore Buttaci of Harbinger*33

Kate, here's one I just now wrote especially for AT THE BIJOU.  It's called ~

By ~ Salvatore Buttaci

The old woman in the wheelchair sits staring out the barred window, nodding a straggly white head.  Now and then she speaks, but because an attendant or a doctor or another patient is not standing at her side, the words are inaudible.  The mad monologue of still another poor soul at Wallingford House.

Some feet away Clotilda the day nurse says to Dr. Burson, “She caused quite a ruckus last night, Doctor.  Kept most of the women up from their beds.  Chickens without heads is what I call 'em.  Runnin' around cacklin', each of ‘em puttin' on a show to play down her performance.  Enough to wake the sleepin’ dead!”

Dr. Burson wishes life could be different.  Somehow a magician’s wand could touch the heads of all these misfortunates.  Make them whole again.

“She seems calm now,” the doctor says, pointing towards the old woman by the window.

Clotilda first snickers, then says, “She oughta be.  Last night’s show took the life outa her.  Carryin’ on.  Bendin’ into those little-girl curtsies and nearly topplin’ over and breakin’ a hip again.”

Now they watch her wrinked-paper hands at the wheels, turning the chair and slowly rolling it towards them.

“Deaf, am I?  You might want to believe that, but you’d be barking up the wrong oak tree.  I heard every damn word!”

“Mrs. Harris––”

“Miss Barrymore.  ‘Ethel’ to my friends, and God knows for sure the two of you are not.”

“Miss Barrymore.  Nurse Clotilda informs me you were naughty last night.”

“Naughty, huh?  I could teach you a thing or two about ‘naughty’ and believe me, it wouldn’t be yours truly re-enacting a scene from Rasputin and the Empress.”

Doctor Burson lays a gentle hand on the old woman’s bony shoulder, which she shrugs away.

“Don’t touch me, you hear?  I will be the judge of who lays a hand on me.”

“Doctor,” says Clotilda, “I need to wake the patients still sleepin' and administer their medications.  They were up all night.  Please excuse me.”

“Please excuse me,” mocks the old woman.  “Now that’s stage-acting if I ever heard it, and I’ve heard plenty.  I was the queen of the stage and the film and I don’t mind boasting, the queen of all Hollywood!”

The nurse quickly walks away towards the infirmary.  On her way some of the patients scream obscenities at her.  One slaps her buttocks.  Another calls to her, “Mama, when you taking me home?”, but Clotilda is a seasoned nurse who has been living this drama for nearly thirty years.  She knows when to respond to patients.  When to keep walking.

“The boys used to slap my bottom too back in the old days,” Mrs. Harris, who thinks she’s Miss Barrymore, tells the doctor. "Why, once my brothers John and Lionel kicked the crap out of one of those ass squeezers, then when the play ended, we three went and celebrated with a few bourbons at the bar.  Of course, John had more than a few, but that’s another story.  A very sad one, you ask me.  It was hard for John to be “The Great Profile,” the handsome rage of all women out there, and at the same time not pour himself  a few drinks.” 

Dr. Burson laughs.  “Quite a story, Miss Barrymore.”  Again he touches her shoulder.  Again the old woman shrugs his arm back to where he lets it hang at his side.  “Have you heard from your son?”

“My son?”  Her dark eyes squint.  Her thin colorless lips purse.  “I have no son, Doctor.  I never married, didn’t you know?  And as far as having a child out of wedlock,” (the old woman covers those deflated lips with a cupped arthritic hand),  “that would not be proper now, would it?”

But Dr. Burson insists.  “Has Stephen called you?”

The old woman cackles.  He notes the empty spaces in her pink mouth, the two or three teeth that manage to survive years of dental neglect.  With the back of her hand she swipes away the spittle hanging like a white thread from her lips.

Then she breaks out into song.  “Even Stephen, Lord Almighty, even Stephen can be flighty!”

“Please, Mrs. Harris.”

“Please, Miss Barrymore,” she corrects him.

“What did he say?” asks Dr. Burson, not because he doesn’t know what transpired in their phone conversation, but he wants to hear it from her.  “Did he tell you he loves you?”

The old woman fidgets with her wheelchair, grasping the wheels, yanking them this way and that until Dr. Burson steps back from the angry circles she is spinning.  Finally he steps forward and stops her to a standstill.

“Only the theater loves me.  The theater and the film.  This stage,” she says, motioning at the wooden floor of the huge mental institution hall where around them the mentally ill run through their charades, their faulty ballets, their assaults on pillows, their litanies to empty chairs, their question-marked voices, chilling and sad.   “This is my life, Doctor.  I am dearly loved.”

The doctor smiles in defeat.  He has failed again to bring a ray of real sunlight into the eyes of Mrs. Harris who has managed to place her total being, all her trust, in the artificial sun of dazzling spotlights, the false thunder of remembered applause, the make-believe stars in a heaven that extinguished itself long ago. 

“I don’t visit,” her son told Dr. Burson.  “What’s the point?  She calls me Lionel.  ‘Do you know why Father named you Lionel?’ she asks every time I come there.  ‘After the trains.  The trains!’  No, I can’t put myself through that.  I have a weak heart, Doctor.  Two heart attacks already and I’m sixty-one. 

"Do you know what seeing her does to me?  This is the mother I loved and still love.  The mother who gave me money every Saturday to go see a movie.  And I would come back home and tell her all about what I saw, from beginning to end.  She loved the movies.  She loved my father.  She loved me.  And now she doesn’t even know who she is.  When my father died.  That was the start of her decline.  She knelt before his coffin, reached over and touched his face.  ‘You sleep,’ she said, loud enough for everyone to hear.  ‘I will wake you in the morning.’ 

Over the phone Dr. Burson could hear Stephen inhale deeply, then sigh.  “I can’t drag her out of the world she’s made, Doctor. Neither can you. She’s happy being Barrymore.  It doesn’t matter that I am grieving a mother who’s alive but gone from me.  No, I won’t telephone her again.  ’I love you, Mother,’ I say and she replies with that affected theatrical voice, “Who is this?  How dare you!  I am going to hang up now.”


He clears the image of Stephen and turns to Mrs. Harris with a smile.

“I played the czarina, you know.  All around me Mother Russia was falling down and I walked through the palace in my beautiful blue gown, my crown of diamonds.  The czarina.”

Now, her back to the doctor, she wheels herself slowly back to the window.  He follows with small slow steps.   When she arrives there, she waves at the empty snow-covered grounds of Wallingford House.  “My loyal fans,” she says without turning from the window.  They want to say how much I deserved that Oscar for None but the Lonely Heart.  But no matter how they coax me, I shall not speak one kind word of Cary Grant.  Nor will I confess that once upon a time Winston Churchill asked for my hand!”

Clotilda now stands again beside the doctor.  In her hand she holds a paper cup.  In the other, a few of Mrs. Harris’s meds.

“Miss Barrymore,” she calls to the old woman at the window.  “The gentleman who sat in the front row of your play tonight asked me to give these to you.  ‘A toast,’ he said, ‘to your greatness!’”

Eyes still riveted on the outside world, Mrs. Harris extends her hand, allows the colored pill and the two capsules to fall into her palm, swallows them, and still not taking her eyes from all her imaginary fans out there, she reaches for the paper cup, raises it high in toasting, then drinks it down.

(c) 2010 ~ Loveable Author Salvatore Buttaci
First Run ~ AT THE BIJOU!

SAL:  Thanks, Kate. If you have bio room, you can include this:
Salvatore Buttaci is an obsessive-compulsive writer who plies his craft many hours a day. His poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that include New York Times, U.S.A. Today, The Writer, Cats Magazine, National Enquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Harbinger*33, Six Sentences, Pen 10. He was recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award, 2007.

His collection of 165 short-fiction stories, Flashing My Shorts, is available from All Things That Matter Press or direct from the publisher at AMAZON SELLS SAL

ABSOLUTELY*KATE:  Hey Sal, of course we always have room AT THE BIJOU for your praises being refrained. Did you want me to mention that you live in West Virginia with the love of your life so that Sharon smiles all the more at you . . . and that folks can find your writings at the outtasite site ~ SALVATORE BUTTACI?

SAL: Why yes Kate, that would do me mighty fine. Say, where did you learn to promote so well?

ABSOLUTELY*KATE: Why, from YOU and Music Mike Whitney and Paul Brazill and P.T. Barnum of course, Sal. Only the best to show me True Hyping Showmanship!

SAL: You said it Kate!

Thanks Sal  for your star-studded salute
to a legendary great
salutes that Oscar Guy!

~ Absolutely*Kate 
and our fine staff of renown

GODOT FINALLY SHOWS! ~ By Robert Crisman


     Given the cinematic theme AT THE BIJOU, I want you to know that this piece, based on Beckett’s play "Waiting For Godot", is also a screenplay, scheduled to be filmed early this summer. I submitted it in short story form because straight prose is easier and more fun to read than a script.

     Those who’ve actually seen Beckett’s play will realize at once that I never have. Like everyone else in the world, however, I do know Godot never shows and that’s pretty much the whole deal. The rest, the details, really don’t matter, and I felt quite free to shape the characters the way I wanted them to be.

     To cement the cinematic tie-in I want you to imagine the roles being played by well-known character actors. Vladimir is Kevin Spacey of course, best seen dead in any film I can think of.  Estragon is Steve Buscemi, down to the last snaggled tooth. Godot? Gary Oldman! In "True Romance" he talked like a brother who’d smother your mother, a truly sinister white boy, just like our hero has turned out to be…

     Okay, all that said, let’s get on with the show.
                                                           ~ Robert

By ~ Robert Crisman

        Vladimir and Estragon stood hunched on the corner of Ellis and Taylor. The Tenderloin, San Francisco. Bedraggled and spent, they looked dully around them at nothing.
     They could have been 30, maybe 100. Who could tell under all of the layers of soil, dust, toxins, and smog that begrimed both their flesh and the sewage they wore? They’d tramped through 30-odd countries, feeding on bread crusts and apples they stole, and now here they were at the end of the line, for them as for so many others.

    They’d finally said fuck it, Godot isn’t coming, not down the road where they’d waited for what seemed like decades. Fuck Beckett, they said, and left to get something to eat. In jail that night, having tried and failed to make off with some bread and some wine in the market in downtown Czkzloszog, they almost gave in to despair. Then, the next morning a postcard came for them in the mail. On the front, a Far Side cartoon, the one with the cows who just sit there lacking opposable thumbs and unable to answer the phone. On the back of the card were these words: “Wish you were here. Your good buddy, G.” The card was postmarked Dubuque

     Amazing? You bet! Especially in light of the fact that I had no other plausible way to keep this thing moving!

    Astonished, our heroes served their six months, then set out, determined to get to America too and track down the ghost of their dreams.

     In Dubuque, then in Butte, and then in Spokane and Seattle, the Far Side cartoons would arrive at the jails with a “Wish you were here” and a postmark.

    The Tenderloin now, 10 o’clock Sunday morning.   Godot was somewhere in town.

     Zombies dressed much like our heroes careened through the streets in slow motion. Up the street a ragged line formed, one hundred spectres shredded and torn, waiting to scarf a free meal in Grace Church’s basement.

     Winos, dopefiends, rockheads galore in this new, deeper level of hell…

     Estragon belched again and again, in a stream that seemed to go on forever.

     “My God,” Vladimir said, “what is that, a song to your ancestors?  Stop!” He spoke in the accent and rhythms of East Central Europe.

     As Estragon did. “Eat my mucous and spit, you thrice-raddled sow! Everywhere we go, across Europe and all the way to this shithole, you criticize me. The way I act, the noises I make. You, who’ve made dumpsters your home from Sevastopol to Seattle, and now in this place. And noises! You are a noise! A noise that squeaks when he shits!”

     “Says the man who unleashes the sounds of ruminants dying in bombing attacks each time he squats in a doorway! Wildebeests rumbling inside your bowels and then stinkbombs fouling the air like the last gasp of hell! I attribute this to your mother’s unfortunate penchant for coupling with diarhhetic baboons!”

     “Diarhhetic—? You syphlitic dog’s pimp! How is it you dare to speak of my mother this way?”

     “How do I dare? You exist do you not? And are you not your mother’s son? In all your simian glory? Quod erat demonstratum.”

     “Quod—what is this you say? I will kill you!”

     “Kill me? Hah! Toxic pestilence! You can’t even kill the stench you’ve carried from Bucharest! They had to evacuate Ploesti when you plodded through, noxious carcass, and—

     Estragon pulled out a gun and shot Vladimir dead.

     Just at that moment—Amazing timing!—Godot finally showed, turning the corner just as the echoes of gunfire drifted. White-bearded, dressed hip-hop, he bopped to a stop, looked at Vladimir sprawled in the doorway, then at Estragon holding the gun with a somewhat bewildered look in his eye.

     “Homes!” Godot said.

     Estragon gaped. “Godot, is that you?

     Godot laughed. “Who you think, man, Jay Leno?

     “Godot! My God! We have been looking for you through two continents! Where have you been? We waited by the side of that road for three decades!”

     “Don’t get your bowels in an uproar, my man! I had people to meet an’ connections to make an’ I met ‘em an’ made ‘em, an’ now here I am. It was tough scufflin’ too. Paris, New York, an’ then all those cowtowns… I got hung up in Chi Town in wintertime, man! Don’t ever get stuck in Chi Town in winter! Make you wish you’d’ve tipped up to Moscow instead.

     “Anyway, man, I finally made it to Frisco, got hip in a hurry, an’ now here I am, cool as a fool who made it through school.”

     Godot, smiling, stepped back, indicating the clothes he had on with a flourish.

     “I got cash an’ talk trash. I’m dressed an’ pressed an’ shined for success. I got bling an’ damn near everything. They call me on time for dinner! You know I’m a winner! Hos’ pet an’ pimps’ fret, that’s me! My autograph’s an investment ‘cause I got a hall-of-fame name an’ plenty of game, competition is lame an’—“

     “Yes, but Godot! We are here, starving, broke, Vladiimir and myself in this city, although Vladimir is now dead as you see. And you, I am happy for your good fortune, but—“

     Godot laughed. “My man, my man!” He threw an arm around Estragon’s shoulder. “It’s you an’ me now, my Romanian cousin! Throw you under a shower an’ scrub your ass up an’ you an’ me are gonna go out an’ make all the ladies start fussin’ an’ cussin’! Fishin’ an’ wishin’ an’ wantin’ some kissin’, see what it is that they all been missin’! It’s double-your-fun day, right here an’ now! You don’t even have to ask how! You know they’re gonna give you the yum, make you cum, an’ ream you an’ steam you, out through the door an’ then right back for more, don’t even have to keep score! You’ll be Smackwater Jack in a Cadillac, Mac, SUV, VIP, like it’s free for the world to see, with a blonde in the front seat an’ two in the back, an’ a punk in the trunk if you like it like that!”

     Estragon stared at Godot, mouth gaped, blinking polyrhythmically now, as if he’d just gotten the news they’d been whisked to the Planet Zarandax.

     Godot laughed again. “Estragon, baby! Don’t worry! I got it covered! You worried about money? I am the bank an’ I got the honey an—“

     “Godot, please! I am needing subtitles already! I—“

     Godot stepped back and regarded his friend. Dropping the bop, he began to speak slowly, solemnly now, in the accents and rhythms of East Central Europe. “Okay, my friend, it is need-to-know time. So, real story, okay?”

     “Yes, Godot, thank you.”

     Godot indicated the street with a sweep of his arm. Armies of dopefiends and rockheads  shuffled and scuffled around them.

     “Do you see this, my brother?”

     “Yes, Godot, I see this.”

     “Tell me, what do you see?”

     “I see The Night of the Living Dead, Godot.”

     “Indeed you do, brother. Dopefiends and dopefiends for days upon days. Homeless for miles. Eighty-year-old women with tin cups in doorways. The sick, the wounded, the dead, the wish-they-were-dead, they are all here.”

     Estragon stared, wide-eyed and blinking.

     “These people make me look like the Czar of the Russias, Godot! We were told San Francisco was a city of gold! What happened here?”

     “Crack, AIDS, budget cuts, a corporate erasure of freedom and hope. This is a city in freefall, my brother. Like all of America, right down the tube. And the people no longer bother to care! Hurray for me and fuck the whole world is their mantra! Look all around you! This is a nightmare cartoon! Corrupt, ugly vicious, and doomed!”

     Godot’s laughter now pealed like doom’s soundtrack.

     Estragon stammered. “Yes, but, but—why did we come here then, brother? Merely to watch people die? We saw such as this in Berlin in the rubble after the war. Why come here now?”

     Godot laughed again.

     “Estragon, Estragon! Come awake, my dear brother! Berlin, yes, the rubble. Nothing but rubble! But America! Hah! Do you know what lies under the shit that you see? Can you guess? Milk and honey, my friend! As our Chinese friends say, this is Gold Mountain! Like always!”

     “Gold Mountain? My God, Godot! You mean goat shit and piss! Look at this, brother! This is the basement of hell!”

    “No, brother. Gold mountain! Rivers of milk and the honey drips like the dew. It is poisoned, of course, but people here pay for their poisons. They’ve come to believe that shit tastes like candy. And I am the candyman, brother! And now you! We shall feed all these people their candy!”

     Estragon blinked and stared at Godot.  “Do you mean…”

     “Yes, brother, I do.” Godot laughed. “When I left Europe?”

     “Yes, brother. We heard it was Gehlen who bought you safe passage.”

     “It was Skorzeny, my friend, and ODESSA. And the Americans, of course. Down the ratlines we came with no one the wiser, at least none who’d tell, and voila, we were new men, and free. And then the Americans put us to work.”

     “Put you to work? Doing what?”

     “Fighting the communist bastards, my brother! Everywhere in this world, from Tehran to Tegucigalpa, Medellin to Marseilles, Kandishar to Kabul—the frontlines of freedom, my friend. And I was there every step of the way in the trenches!”

     Godot smiled. “Wars, my brother! Covert, proxy wars, in Laos, Angola, you name the place. Afghanistan, brother, the first time! We brought in Osama to take out the Russians! We trained him and then turned him loose and the next thing you knew the Russians retreated to Moscow and died!”

     “Yes, brother, but—“

    “And, brother, this is important. Do you know how we paid for these wars?”

     “No, brother.”

     “With candy, my brother! Heroin in Laos and Saigon! Cocaine in the Andes! Heroin again in Afghanistan, brother! Congress is cheap and my Masters said, get the job paid for and done, and we did!”

     “Yes, Godot, but—what war is there here?”

    Godot laughed long and loud. “What war is there here? My God, look around you! Where have you ever seen carnage like this?”

     “The South Bronx.”

     “Yes! And in Camden, Detroit, East St. Louis, Chicago’s west side, on and on. It’s all the same war, Estragon!”

     “What war, Godot?”

     “The war of the rich to stay rich on the backs of the poor!”

    “The—I don’t see—“

    “Yes, Estragon! Divide and conquer! The white from the black! So the rich can keep fucking on both sides of town!”

     “By selling these people candy, Godot?”


    “How is this, my brother?”

     Godot swept the street with his eyes. “Do you see all these dregs? These black and brown dregs that litter the streets like the spawn of some plague?”

     “Yes, brother, I do. White dregs too.”

     “Yes, but no one cares about them. They’re white trash, windblown, forgotten. Crime, drug addiction—it’s all been dressed up in blackface by people who feed us our nightmares.”

     “Which people are those?”

     “The ones who bring us the Six O’Clock News and who finance campaigns for high office. The ones who rant about crime and keeping the middle class safe in their beds late at night in their exurban enclaves.”

     “Oh yes, those people. I’ve seen their TV…”

    “Yes indeed, those people, brother. They scare all the white folks to death. All dark-skinned people in this world have been turned into gangbangers, dopefiends, terrorists, Muslims, thugs with big dicks who have come for your wife—or you for that matter! The media spinners have given us monsters to play with! And as a result, all those whites who shiver in closets have given it over to people like me to save them from hordes here at home and all over the world, to defend what they call their culture, their honor, their blood! And, oh yes, their oil

     Godot grinned, the grin like a hot-buttered knife. “It is war to the death, Estragon! In Afghanistan now and here on these streets that you see with your eyes. War to the death—and I am a knight, a hero sent to slay dragons!”

    Godot the candyman. Hero? A knight sent to slay dragons?

    “You are a rogue out to line your own pockets, Godot! Estragon, getting hip quick…

    Godot laughed again. “Yes, of course! What else would an American hero be? Their God tells them, blessed are the rich! John Wayne is dead! The mask has come off and behold the fangs!”

    “Godot, they will catch you and throw you in jail! Are you mad? Selling heroin, crack—“

     Godot sneered. “They will never do that, Estragon. Do you want to know why?”

    “Yes, Godot, please tell me why.”

     “My Masters would not want it known what we’re doing. They don’t care what we’re doing, money is money, all for the wars, and we work off the books, but the blacks would make noise, and even the whites would not understand why it is that we feed the streets candy. Candy has turned the streets into nightmares. And it’s what we have told them we’re trying to stop in Afghanistan now as we speak. The Taliban, dope-dealing devils and so forth, do you understand?”

     Godot laughed again. Estragon blinked and stared at Godot.

     “And,” Godot said, “if by some rare chance we got caught, so what?” He shrugged. I have a get-out-of-jail-free card, my friend, signed, if you will, by my Masters, who never allow their loose ends to dangle, especially in jail, if you know what I mean.

     “Besides, as I told you, I am a hero. A villain, yes—but what is a hero these days but a villain, on TV, the movies, and everywhere else? People recognize ‘good guys’ these days as cartoons, Never-Never Land’s own, myths for small children. Adults roll their eyes. What matters to them is who wins. All they want now is a winner, someone who can help them believe that they too might win as they sink in the quicksand that passes for life all around them.

     “They want winners! And believe it, my brother, the people like me? We are the ones who are winning!”

     Estragon stared at Godot. Godot grinned and grinned.

     “So, Estragon. Are you with me?”

     Estragon chewed his lips, looked around once again at the streets. He seemed to shudder.

     “Yes, Godot, I am with you.”

     Godot laughed. “As soon as we bathe you, my friend, then you are with me!”

     “Yes, yes, of course, but—“

    Estragon looked at Vladimir’s body.

     “What about Vladimir?”

     Godot glanced down at the body. “Collateral damage, my friend. A casualty of the war. There are thousands just like him littered in doorways all over this town. We let the police do their jobs.”

     Godot took Estragon by the arm. “Come now, my friend. We’ve business elsewhere.”

     They walked arm in arm down the street.
(c) 2009 ~ Author / Playwright Robert Crisman

Robert Crisman? You want Me, Absolutely*Kate who believes in believers, to dance a little two-step around this feller's bio-background? Well, he sure sees it as it is and writes it as he calls it and there's no turning'back a turnaround there. More visionary than cynic in spaces and places his true gritty from roughened toughened streets of  any city comes to tell a tale . . . darkly, memorably well. His noir shadows the night in heaps and bounds (I counted 24), over at A Twist of Noir and he etches edgey over at 6*City, I mean Six Sentences, too. This guy's got films in production, novellas of seduction and words, rants, essays, his says, cut-through-illusion scrawls in just about any literary site he sets his keyboard to. 

And now he's come in the front door
  AT THE BIJOU, closing up Beckett's back door
of potential symbolism in one fell Frisco swoop.
How'm I doin' Rob?

ROBERT:  Not that shabby A*K, but are you gonna tell the folks who come read around this joint that ~ in writing crime and noir fiction, Robert Crisman spent 15 years on streets in downtown Seattle and has some idea of what really goes on in these realms. He has stories scheduled on Yellow Mama and Darkest Before Dawn. A movie he scripted, Chasing the Dopeman, is currently in post-prod down in L.A. and, with luck, it’ll be ready to go sometime this fall. He maintains a blog, chock full of stories, at 6S.

ABSOLUTELY*KATE:  How can I top the razzamatazz of that horn well trumpeted, Rob? You just hit all the high notes and covered all bases sliding a run into home. Mixed metaphors aside, I'm thinkin' you left the folks AT THE BIJOU with a heady awareness of what your shouts are all about.

for cinematic flair o'flare
at our humbly vibrant
presentation theatre

~ Absolutely*Kate
and the fine staff of renown
 getting ready for Oscar's Greatest Night 
~ Stars twinkling, spotlights blazing.